Estimation and Model Misspecification: Fake and Missing Features

by   Martin Hellkvist, et al.

We consider estimation under model misspecification where there is a model mismatch between the underlying system, which generates the data, and the model used during estimation. We propose a model misspecification framework which enables a joint treatment of the model misspecification types of having fake and missing features, as well as incorrect covariance assumptions on the unknowns and the noise. Here, features which are included in the model but are not present in the underlying system, and features which are not included in the model but are present in the underlying system, are referred to as fake and missing features, respectively. Under this framework, we characterize the estimation performance and reveal trade-offs between the missing and fake features and the possibly incorrect noise level assumption. In contrast to existing work focusing on incorrect covariance assumptions or missing features, fake features is a central component of our framework. Our results show that fake features can significantly improve the estimation performance, even though they are not correlated with the features in the underlying system. In particular, we show that the estimation error can be decreased by including more fake features in the model, even to the point where the model is overparametrized, i.e., the model contains more unknowns than observations.


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